In the not so distant past most women knew how to at least sew a button and many could do much much more. Women knitted, they sewed, they made and they repaired. It was less expensive to make your own clothes and a reasonable or even better job could be made of replicating current fashions and styles.
Of course this had a lot to do with the fact that women were for the most part confined to the home performing household and homemaker tasks. As much as I’m all for equal opportunities, the move from home to workplace meant that a lot of Sewing and dressmaking fell by the wayside. There has also been a huge increase in the availability of cheap fashion clothing (hello Primark £2 tops!) meaning that it is no longer cheaper to make your own.
Crafts and dressmaking are enjoying a full on and joyous revival these days which is wonderful but there’s a big problem where I’m concerned and that’s affordability. There’s a recession on (again or still or whatever) and I like so many others am getting paid peanuts while the price of shopping in general is climbing.
So here’s the quandary:
- You want something unique to wear and you want the pride and joy which comes from making it yourself.
- You don’t want to shop in a store which allegedly perpetuates child slavery issues (hello again, Primark).
- Shopping in Vintage or Thrift stores often yields incredible results but it’s hard to go out looking for something specific. I don’t know about you but I go out looking for jeans and come back with another coat to add to my getting silly collection or yet another calf length skirt.
- However, it’s hard enough to buy food sometimes and the top price for a Vogue Pattern is £14.95 before you’ve even looked at fabric and notions.
And here’s the answer!
Most sewers/crafters have what we call a “stash.” A hoard of sewing related paraphernalia we covet and add to like magpies, surreptitious as squirrels hiding their nuts.
The levels of hoarding are unique to each squirrel but here’s what mine mostly consists of:
- Sewing Patterns – Hundreds of them, “rescued” from various sources including friends and family and recycling bins
- Fabric – well I work in a fabric store and I do get staff discount! I also keep old garments I naively think I will one day breathe new life into or turn into something else. I especially keep items with some sort of sentimental attachments.
- Buttons a.k.a. treasure. I have a huge collection of buttons. Some I’ve inherited, some I’ve cannibalized from items on they’re way to the bin (some do make it), some I’ve bought. My favourite game at my Granny’s house when I was little was sorting her button tin into colours.
- Trims and notions – I have a lot of ribbons in particular and a mind-boggling number of hooks and eyes?
So here’s what we do – to save everyone money and help me feel better about the things I have but know I will never use and am therefore denying another – WE SWAP!
Initially the swap is just patterns but if it takes off then I’ll add other things too.
I have set up a Facebook page here where I have listed patterns available for swap. If you see anything there you would like then all you have to do is ‘like’ the picture and then PM Sewing Pattern Swap with details of what you would like to swap from your own stash. It doesn’t have to be a pattern and it doesn’t have to be worth the same as the pattern.
You can also contact me with details of patterns you would like to swap yourself and I will be happy to list them on your behalf.
I will be using this blog to post details of which patterns are available and other related stuff…
- Sewing Pattern Giveaway! (sewkapow.wordpress.com)
- Show us Your Stash….. Pia (overflowingstash.wordpress.com)
- Sewing Pattern Swap is Go! (sewkapow.wordpress.com)
- Jacket Pattern Swaps (sewkapow.wordpress.com)